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Canadian Stamp Auctions

Recent Auction Highlights

27 January, 2010 - Vance Auctions Ltd.

It’s always a proud moment when an auction house can offer a Scott 3 to the public. Not only is it Canada’s second most valuable stamp, but one of its most beautiful. This copy had huge margins and a near face free cancellation.

Lot 5886
Scott 3
Catalogue $85,000
Realized $114,000

Vance emphasized the positive by pointing to the stamp’s enormous margins, and especially the bottom sheet margin. Unfortunately the stamp had some small holes at the top right due to thinning. In the end, it received a very respectable price, being the third best for a used Scott 3 in the past 25 years.

2¢ & 3¢ Numerals - a bit off centre

Lot 6246
Scott 77
Catalogue $70
Realized $125

Lot 6250
Scott 78
Catalogue $120
Realized $238


We are always fascinated to watch the bidders struggle over stamps that are near perfect in all aspects, except that they are just a bit off-center. If we looked at the stamps in our own collections, especially ones printed in the late 1800s, most of us would have to admit their centering is not always quite perfect. This is why those few stamps that achieved this status are so much sought after.

But here we have two that are nice looking, NH and just a “bit off-center”. The 77 went for almost 80% over catalogue and was the more off-centered of the two. But, to its credit, it also had the widest margins. The 78 went for almost 100% over catalogue. Not bad !

What impressed us the most was the respect they both received from the bidders.

Varieties from the 1930s

"One shilling" mark
Imperforate pair

Lot 6554
Unitrade 216i
Catalogue $1,221
Realized $745

Lot 6560
Scott 221a
Catalogue $340
Realized $412


Here we see strong bidding for the stamps that were issued by Canada in the 1930s. Prices for the sets and the commemoratives issued in this period have been gathering steam in recent years.

The $745 price realized for the Unitrade 216i would have been the best price in the past 10 years, but for the fact that, 7 days earlier, a copy sold for $1.050. Both prices show great strength.

The $412 price for the Scott 221a is a new record, a slight increase over the previous $405. Copies of this stamp are often centered low. This one is a touch low, but the centering is better than most.

Unitrade 747b – a real beauty!

Lot 6703
Unitrade 747b
Estimate $900
Realized $745

There’s something about this stamp that we find so attractive. Whoever designed it did a superb job. This variety usually comes as a block of four and these go at auction for around $2,500. So this price is obviously not a strong one. Possibly this is because the catalogue standard is for a block of 4 and not a pair.

QEII – gold colour double printed

Lot 6768
Unitrade 1932ai
Catalogue $2,000
Realized $1,070


It does seem odd, but this stamp, which has a catalogue price of $2,000, sold for only $1,070 and yet its price set a new record. The previous record was $1,039.

We wondered how there could be such a large gap between this record price and its catalogue price. We are still wondering. We can only pity the hardworking people who put the catalogues together, trying to make sense of it all!

For more details on the sale, please click on the highlights button.




This sale had two new record prices:

Scott No.
Previous NRP
5¢ blue - imperf. vertically
48¢ QEII – imperf. Double gold


Vance's next auction will be held on March 17, 2010


(In the flyer that accompanied Vance Carmichael’s latest auction catalogue, Vance stated “The other day one of our bidders asked me how many auction lots we have offered since we started in business. It was an interesting question, and we figured out that since Sale #1 we have offered well over 1.25 million lots!”)

©2010, Canadian Stamp Auctions Ltd., Montréal, Québec, Canada